Monteville Roberts and The Great Locomotive Chase

by Tonia Kendrick on September 12, 2009 in Family Stories,Military

Monteville and other members of the Roberts family aided in capturing the Union soldiers who were involved in the Andrews Raid (a.k.a. The Great Locomotive Chase).  The Andrews Raiders had abandoned the locomotive General eighteen miles south of Chattanooga.  The hunt for the fugitive raiders was prompt and successful; several were captured the same day and all within two weeks.

A group of family workers, including Monteville, his sons George, Martin, and Loranza, with the other Roberts, James, Thomas, and Williams, were working at the Roberts’ business establishment.  They were working at the mill and repairing rifles for the Confederacy.  One of them looked up to see a man riding a white horse across the field and jumping the rail fences as he approached the family.

When the man reached them, he quickly said, “Yankee raiders stole a train and got up here past Ringgold before they stopped.  Them Yankees got off and run into the woods down there” and he gave a sweeping motion with his arm to let them know what he meant.

It was the wooded area near White Oak Mountain, not too far from the Roberts home.  They lived in Hamilton County, Tennessee, fairly near the state line.  The man continued with the news.  Loranza is reported as remembering him saying, “The militia is meeting today and everybody is to meet with them at Catoosa Springs as quick as they can.  We’re all to form up groups to hunt for them.”

Needless to say, the entire group of older Roberts’ left their work in the hands of the younger boys.  The younger boys were broken-hearted at being left there to wait.  Monta Roberts was among the group who found some of the men early the next morning and turned them over to the authorities who “laced them up” in the Ringgold jail.

Sources:

Whitehead, Tolva Roberts. Roberts and Allied Families. Atlanta (1204 Milton Terrace, S.E.): T.R. Whitehead, 1960.

Welcome to Andrews Raid – The Great Locomotive Chase. Web. 12 Sept. 2009. (http://www.andrewsraid.com).

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